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actions & protests | bikes/transportation | police / legal m20: day x

I-405 liberation- any contact with arrestees?

story of Critical Mass taking the 405 and has any one heard from any of the 60+ people that were taken away?
Amazing Critical Mass took the 405 for a distance- (4 or moreso) exit ramps. There was little police presence on most of the ride to this point, (although there were three vehicular assaults on mass participants)- however the ride's exit route off the freeway was blocked by fencing, and soon after, police. People massed against the fence, one by one lifting their bikes and other people over the fence, but there were only minutes (a minute?) before the police showed, everone that had made it over (a handful) bolted and everone else was trapped inside.
It can only be imagined that, one by one, they hauled possibly 60+ people over the fence, "cuffed and stuffed" them.
Has anyone heard from anyone that was on the liberationride tonite who is now on the inside?

Critical contact none 20.Mar.2003 23:50


No contact with legal support yet from riders

no word yet 20.Mar.2003 23:55

99th Monkey

I was one of the handful that made it over, at about 7:30, staying to lift other bike over until the police turned the corner coming up Montgomery at us... at 14th and Montgomery. About 6-8 of us were all that made it away with the police yelling "Stop, you're under arrest"! I stashed my bike in a back yard about a 1/2 block away and went back with my camera to try to get some pictures, but the light sucked and they didn't turn out. One not-surprising thing happened; when the KGW news crew tried to drive up in their van, Mortorcycle Officer Brett Barnum banged on the side of the van with his nightstick and told them to leave. I stayed for about a half making sure that the 20 or so police knew they were under observation by someone with a camera if they got out of hand with my brothers and sisters. What a price to pay for the critical mass that will go down in history for the 15-20 minutes or so we took the 405

critical mass strategy 21.Mar.2003 01:27

blue beach cruiser

I learned a lot about the effectiveness of critical mass... and I learned i want a lighter bike. damn.

MY partner and I went down the slope at the bottleneck getting chased by cops shouting that we should stop because we were under arrest. I didn't feel like it so we jumped on our bikes and rode down the access ramp to another slope up. We dropped our bikes behind some scrub and got helped over a fence by some drunk kids. One of them helped me go and get our bikes after a while. They had that overpass and access to 405 on lockdown so we rode over the fucking mountain and then cruised down vista. Try riding a fuckin beach cruiser up that hill.

I know my geographical references suck. Sorry.

I'd be into meeting with anybody who wants to talk about our effectiveness on Thursday and how we could have avoided getting run off the 405.

That was a great ride. Thanks everybody. Tell me when the next one is.

405ers 21.Mar.2003 02:41


just talked to my roomate who is in jail - was with us on 405. he said the cops got a bunch of people, but were reasonable. he will update soon. what hope there is when we band together! i was inspired tonight by solidarity and peaceful camraderie. stay strong and peaceful. also - please do not exaggerate or distort facts! tell truth!

any more firsthand info is appreciated.

VIOLENT YOGA TEACHER ON 405 21.Mar.2003 11:55


I was on that 405 shut down and it was possibly one of the most rad experiences of my life! It amazed me that we were on the interstate for about 20 mintes before the cops caught up. And what we didn't know at the time of the action was that the traffic from I5 that got held up from another group taking over that interstate had been diverted to 405, and there we were to shut it down! It was scary and dangerous, and we were succesful!

One bright yellow subaru with the license plate PSOAS tried to run down several critical massers. They were safe only because they jumped out of the way barely in time. Unfortunately I realized that I know the man, and as a matter of fact he is a YOGA teacher and massage therapist! some healer! I tried to reason with him calmly, but he was irrate. Apparently he had a massage client he needed to get to. I sympathize with that, but tried to inform him of the dire situation with the war and scold him for trying to hurt people. Eventually I lost it and was screaming at him something along the lines of "HOW CAN YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A HEALER WHEN YOU ARE TRING TO RUN PEOPLE OVER! F YOU!"

So this man is a well respected yoga teacher and massage therapist in the community and I'd love to expose his ugly violent side. Any suggestions? Mybe an I saw you in the mercury or a letter to the willamette week?

In the end I got away scot free. But i have been trying to learn more about those who didn't. Please post any more info as you learn it! thanks to all who bravely participated! We are powerful in solidarity!

I 405 Liberation? How rediculous! 21.Mar.2003 13:06

Annoyed Female Capitilistic Chevy Truck Owner brande67@yahoo.com

I have to stop assuming things... Here I thought and assumed that "Critical Mass" celebrated bike safety and the rights of bikers within legal limits. I guess I assumed wrong. Now "Critical Mass" is involved in annoying the hell out of everyday people anyway they can, and are using the war in Iraq as an excuse. I once has respect for "Critical Mass", and now I don't. You guys have become assholes. Grow up and get back to what the initial idea was all about.

What you guys did on I 405 last night was not liberation but immature play time. You've lost respect from the very people you are *trying* to impress. Oh wait, I'm assuming again that you are "trying* to impress others, right? You just wanna ride..... to hell with others.

Fuck Cars 21.Mar.2003 13:58

QRG BudakonMind@aol.com

In response to the man who has "lost respect" for critical mass. Critical mass isn't tying to impress anyone, the point of the monthly (and recently more frequent) gathering initially, yes, was intended to raise the awareness of car drivers to our two wheeled brethren. However, critical mass is a group of forward thinking individuals who are not the type to sit idly by when an opportunity to make a loud and provocative statement is presented. This is exactly what the freeway closures where, this wasn't "immature playtime", it was legitimate protest. So what if people where annoyed, that's the goddamn point, if their annoyed then they are forced to pay attention to us, shutting down the city wasn't just an opportunistic event perpetuated by splinter radicals, it was a bold statement that most certainly got some attention. It amazes me to think that people can this was simply an immature stunt, don't you think that the passion someone would need to march onto a damn freeway would come from some place genuine. People are angry, this was our message, "we are the people, we can shut it down, we will be heard" Don't forget we are fighting a war for oil, why? Because all those who drive 12 mile to the gallon SUV's don't want to pay more than 2 bucks per gallon. Although I wasn't with the massers last night (I was helping take I-84) I commend what they did, and hope it happens again, fuck this oil war, and fuck the cars that make it this country so dependant on oil in the first place, RIDE YOUR BIKE!

Critical mass arrest 21.Mar.2003 17:52


I was one of the massers arrested on the 405 takeover. About 20 people were swarmed upon by riot cops at about 7:45 after trying to escape on the shoulder of the interstate by 14th and collage. The police were relatively reasonable to the massers on the right hand side of the freeway. Several incidents of pepper spry, and use of unnescessary force were reported by massers who crossed the freeway on the left hand side to escape. The majority of the massers in my group were charged with disorderly conduct, however one man was taken to the phych ward and was not seen since. I was in the presence on this man for hours, and in my opinion was not in the least bit unstable. After being shuffled about to three differtent booking stations, the 20 of us were released from downtown at 7:30 in the morning. Big thanx to the great people at jail support for offering rides, and providing food!! I had a blast taking the 405 last night! Congrats to all of you critical massers who escaped. organization could have been tighter, but otherwise I would not change a thing last night. For all of you who were arrested in the mass, or elsewhere, we will be haveing a meeting at the Lucky Labrador thursday the 27th, provided their is enough space, to discuss legal issues. Last night's nationwide, and indeed worldwide protests are step in the right direction. Like many individual strems converging to form a vast river of disscontent, our collective voices are indeed being recognized. Some may argue that the protesters are idealists, but in these times, ideals seem to be one of the last few things ordinary citizens can cling to. I recognize that our standard of living is much better off that the people in Bagdad, but it is a direct result of the iraqis, and much of the third worlds poor standard of living. I don't know how much of a real change the protesters will make, if any. The ruling class seems too have made up their minds long ago about the steps they are taking.But the most important thing is the citizens of this country, and the world are making a firm stance for peace and sustainability. I think some of us massers were a bit too agressive in directing anger toward the moterists. I am not against the people we delayed on the 405 and apologize for the inconviniance. But I think that some minor inconviniences are a small sacrifice to the much larger issue at hand. By the way the meeting at the Lucky Labrador is schedualed at 8pm. Again, thanks to all the protesters who came down on march 20th!! May their be more to come!

Fuck the Titles 21.Mar.2003 18:45

Adam adamslbp@swirvemail.com

Ok, first I can't believe the factionalization over this actionyou all know what this meant if you took a second to think about it, it was a bout dissruption just like the dissruption the Iraqi people are going through right now.
As far as Critical Mass goes, scew the title there was no guide book or mission statement or long held belief in an organization that came into play last night. It was an entirely spontaneous move of people who want this war and the machine that is drive it to end. This about our lives and the fact that 17% of our income goes to those million dollar bombs that are killing innocent people or even those not so innocent who are targets of political assasination. Personaly I know that I was on that highway last night to tell people that I was mad as hell and I'm not going to take this shit anymore, you will not beat us into the ground anylonger, you will be held accountable for your actions or lack there of. Yes this is the revolution and the shot has been heard around the world. So I say We the rebels will not lay down our arms and disband we will fight fro the freedom of everyone not just the colonists.

I'm conflicted... 21.Mar.2003 23:33

Skwirl ominous_squirrel@hotmail.com

Although I can understand the bravery and civil disobedience idealism of shutting down the freeway, I wouldn't like to see this become a regular tactic for CM and pedestrian protesters. It's too big of a risk for temporary, questionable gains. I just can't see how you can safely cork a freeway on-ramp.

Meanwhile, the public isn't likely to be sympathetic to this tactic. You're not just putting yourselves at risk, you're risking rear-end collisions on the cars that have to slow for you.

CM proved that it can do the seemingly impossible, but don't let this one success ruin the other, also important, goals of Critical Mass.

JUSTIFICATION FOR I405 BLOCK 22.Mar.2003 18:34


Hey, thanks for all comments, especailly those in support of us. I felt that i took a forward role in the I405 block and am extremely proud of myself.

Why did we do it? What good was it? Was it worth getting arrested for? I have considered all of this and deeply believe that it was worth it!

Many have pointed out that we did it to stop the cars which consume the gas and fuel the war for oil. But thats not the only reason. Thursday was an incredible night of protesting. Diverse tactics were used, anyone could participate at their comfort level, whether this was to hold a sign and march with the pprc or to put their bodies in front of moving cars. This is the most effective way of creating change is to allow everyone to express their opposition in their unique ways. And when it comes together in a mass of actions, of different types, in different places, THAT IS POWERFUL!

As critical mass rode up to join the burnside and 2nd shutdown, we saw more cops approaching and a biker pointed out that we should move on to take the heat off of one place. So we created another action in a part of town where no protesting was taking place. So we took over 405, other groups took 5 and 84, the burnside bridge and several major intersections were sut down, groups marched all over downtown, people held signs on street corners for passing traffic. One silly police officer complained to me that the poor police were confused and couldn't keep up with everything going on in different places. I've been told that local news did non-stop coverage of the protest without breaks for commercials. We succesfully shut down the city and people took notice!

Our message was that we took this war very seriously. We will shut down portland and incovenience drivers and shoppers (oh my) to get their attention. We were heard! This fascist was sucks! Everyone keep up the good work! Do whatever feels right to you to make your point heard! Organize, step up to lead an action, you are beautiful and powerful!

Understanding 26.Mar.2003 13:10

jamma wamma

I just must say that I wish you all would find a better way to express your discontent with the country you live in. Money wasted on policing and clean up of vandalism could be better spent toward education of our children. God bless this country that allows you to express your disgust - but it is too bad you feel city/state money spent on you and your being allowed to express "your cause(s)" is well spent when our children's education is going down the toilet due to lack of money. I wonder how many of you actually pay taxes. The public will have very little sympathy or support for your cause(s) when they see the bill - and see where our hard earned money is going. In an ecomony such as we have now in Oregon - money wasted policing thugs disquised as "peace activists" will not go over well with the general public.

405 ride redux 27.Mar.2003 00:07


It's not the money being spent on policing peaceful protests that stops our country from adequately funding education. It's the $80 billion dollars being spent by our government to kill civilians in Iraq, it's the pillaging of our tax base by greedy corporations using offshore addresses as tax shelters, it's the Republican tax cuts for the wealthy, it's airline bailouts and road subsidies to support peoples driving habits.

To Blue Beach Cruiser: I was there too, and made it out without being arrested. The 405 ride itself was well executed, but there wasn't a clear exit strategy. Plus it was dark and the coherence of the group fell apart when we left the road. I have already revisited the scene and saw in hindsight that there were two clear escape routes, either over the hill and back down to the Hwy 26 RIB off ramp, or to the right at the top of the hill to the Hwy 26 downtown exit. I followed the former route with a small group of riders. The latter route would probably have been better, since the city street grid is a lot closer, but I don't know if the cops were waiting there or not that night. The fence on the overpass was not really a very good choice.

A couple of things I remember from the ride, which was all rather ethereal, were several big rig drivers going the other way honking in support, and a good sized group of white-jacketed chefs-to-be watching from street level by the culinary school.

Understanding 27.Mar.2003 11:31

jamma wamma

Federal dollars unfortunately don't pay for our schools, as my senators have reminded me when I complain to them about the state of Oregon's schools. Dollars for schools come from the city/state level mainly - and money wasted on policing is money that could and should go to schools instead. It seems many of the activists don't care what the cause is they just want to be part of a mob hoping for friction with the police.

I don't want war - I drive a ecomony car - I do all I can to save our worlds resources and pass on these ideals to my children - I guess I just don't see why the "activists" feel that it is right to disrupt my life and others like me when we empathize with you - I mean you don't even know me or know what my values are, yet you feel you are right to block my freedom of movement. I am trying to understand - I just don't believe that many of the protestors have the common good of the public in mind - but only want to brag about not being arrested or brag about being "there" when people were pepper sprayed - they are not thinking of change to better our world, they are thinking of themselves, plain and simple.

Immature Antics 27.Mar.2003 11:51

momma jane

Unfortunately it is not federal dollars that pay for schools, it is local state/city money as my senators remind me when I complain to them about the sorry state of Oregon's education system. Local money spent on policing and cleaning up after vandals does take money from our education system. There are things wrong with the way our country operates, I am glad we can express our oppositions. I only believe that many of the activists just want an excuse to cause friction with authority and want to brag about being on the news, or escaping police, being part of a mob - many of you I feel don't even care about the cause that is being asserted, but just want an excuse to be part of a crowd where maybe you can cause trouble -

Immature antics is all it is - there are other ways to get your point across - they may not be as "fun" for you though. Your cause(s) loses momentum and support when ignorant people do stunts like those we have seen in recent days performed in the name of a cause such as "peace." I saw police knocked down and kicked, in the name of peace - hypocritical -

To Mamma and Jamma 27.Mar.2003 22:34

Bicyclists for Peace

The purpose of the demonstrations is point out to Americans that their surburban consumer lifestyle choices are responsible for American Imperialism and the war we are engaged in right now; that there is a better way to do things (for CM, ride a bicycle, don't drive an SUV); that as long as we are engaged in this war, and people are dying in Mesopotamia, things won't be normal here, either.

As for school funding, there could easily be federal funds available to the states if the Bush administration wasn't wasting all of OUR tax dollars on wars and corporate welfare.

As for the expense to the City of Portland, the cops always do the most damage blocking traffic, hurting people, etc., etc. than the demonstrators ever do. If you want to live in a fascist police state, I guess that's OK with me, but I'm more inclined to fight for my civil rights and for
America having more respect for others on the planet, rather than the corporate imperialist agenda for domination of the worlds resources that these creeps are up to.

Stop whining and get out in the streets. When you see critical mass (or any cyclist), slow down and give 'em the thumbs up, 'cause they're out there doin' it for you!!!

time 28.Mar.2003 09:45

bike in peace

bike in peace